* It would seem to me that Mexico is just practicing a less sophisticated form of message control that is commensurate with its generally lower standard of living, i.e. outright bribes in the form of advertising payoffs and the occasional strong-arm tactics. Whereas here in America, the money is sanitized by funneling it through a maze of government agencies, obscure grant windows, foundations, think tanks, endowments, shell companies, and other financial subsidiaries, until it becomes ritually purified; and the threat of shunning, silencing, un-personing, and career track devastation are enough to keep any dissenters in line. Not there are many dissenters anyway, since all practitioners of the journalistic craft are carefully vetted by the universities, the professional organizations, and the internship process so as to ensure that they are bonded and certified PC.
But, since in both cases, after normalizing for the degree of sophistication, the process is essentially the same, it appears to be an intrinsic feature of modern societies rather than an aberration. It should not be surprising that he who pays the piper calls the tune. Most journalists would rather eat than be martyrs for truth.
Indeed, there really cannot be any such thing as a “free press” that does not depend on money and protection from another source who may seek to influence it. What there can be, however, is meaningful opposition to Leviathan’s press corps, but only if people are willing to put some effort into it.
In plain English, this means that people have to be willing to pay for it. It is unrealistic to expect anything to materialize from the efforts of a few heroic bloggers who, after exhausting themselves at their daily wage slavery, stay up late into the night trying to fight the power by tapping away at their keyboards for stuff-all. Nothing against the heroes, mind you; but it is a poor reflection on the people they are trying to lead, when the latter will not lend their encouragement and financial support. There are entire books that could be written right now, and there are people with the talent to write them, but they are lacking in the time and the means. If only such support were forthcoming, we could genuinely change the face of American culture.
This is why I’m supporting Steve’s fundraising drive with my limited abilities and I entreat everyone else here to do the same. There was a time when journalists would produce extremely well-written and and well-researched monographs, traveling to foreign lands, hanging about the encampments of battlefields, diving into industries and governments. We can make it to be so again, and the books we write will influence a generation and will shine out across time. We have the will to do so, we just need the means.